The Education of American Businessmen: A Study of University-College Programs in Business Administration

By Frank C. Pierson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
DOCTORAL PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH

Business schools are giving increased attention to doctoral programs and research. This attests to the improved academic status and new responsibilities of these schools. The approaches of the different institutions to both their doctoral and research programs reflect the historical development of the field as a whole. The principal issue is how these programs can be greatly expanded at the same time that their general quality is improved.

The next major development in education for business will come at the doctoral level. This seems inescapable if business schools are going to meet the anticipated increase in demand for faculty, research workers, and technical business specialists described in previous chapters. Doubtless other branches of graduate education will also figure prominently in meeting this demand, but even if their part is materially increased, a shortage of qualified personnel will still remain. Business schools therefore have no alternative but to enter this area themselves.

The difficulties and dangers to be faced in building such programs are essentially those already discussed at the undergraduate and master's levels. The question in all three cases is whether the subject possesses sufficient content to justify full academic status. The dangers at the doctoral level are particularly great since it is generally assumed that work for the doctorate will be rather highly specialized. Earlier chapters showed, however, that specialization in the business studies can lead to unsatisfactory results. Great care has to be exercised to make sure that this does not happen at the most advanced level of instruction.

In business administration, perhaps to a greater degree than in more fully developed fields, the outcome largely depends on the breadth and imagination of the faculties and students. There is no escaping the fact that the doctorate entails a considerable measure of specialization, but the context within which the specialization takes place is all-important. Previous chapters constructed a framework for the study of business out of certain nonbusiness subjects, the business functional areas, and the

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